The language of Bangladesh, West Bengal and parts of Tripura and Assam, Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language originating from Sanskrit. With over 230 million speakers, it is the sixth most spoken language in the world today. Published in 1778, this was one of the first grammars of Bengali ever compiled. The English orientalist Nathaniel Brassey Halhed (1751–1830) prepared the work during his employment with the East India Company, in order to facilitate communication between his colleagues and the weaving districts of Bengal. It provides detailed and descriptive accounts of all aspects of the language, from its alphabet to its systems of agreement, case and tense, as well as its numerals, verbs and word order. The work was considered to be groundbreaking because Halhed made the first steps towards identifying the Indo-European language family, making it of lasting relevance to language typologists today.